Hi all, I am researching international adoption and am finding conflicting info about timelines for adopting from Ethiopia. The Wall St. Journal listed a time of about 1 year to adopt a toddlerish kid, but a local agency gave a timeline of 2-3 years for a kid 2+ years old.
I am comparing with domestic adoption- timeline 2 years for an infant.
What is going on with timelines for adopting from various countries? Is checking with agencies the best way to find out?
You can never be absolutely sure about a timeline with either domestic or international adoption.
With domestic newborn/infant adoption through an agency, you have to wait for a birthmother to select you, in most cases, nowadays That could be next week or five years from now. Even if you are going through a closed adoption, where the agency, not the birthmother, selects you, there may or may not be an appropriate child for you within a reasonable time frame. Independent adoptions can be quick and cheap, but they can also be time consuming and expensive if you have fall-throughs or other problems, and if you have difficulty finding a birthmother who wants to place with you.
With international adoption, time frames vary considerably by country. Right now, China is looking at waits of five to ten years for a healthy infant or toddler, although a child with special needs or a school aged chilld can often be adopted within a year.
Ethiopia is currently in flux. Adoptions used to be quick, but changes are being made because it has come to light that some birthmothers were being misled about the finality of adoption; they thought that their child would go to the U.S., get an education, and then come home to them. Also, some children were said to be "eligible orphans" under the terms of the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act, when in fact, they were not orphans and did not qualify for adoption visas. The U.S. and Ethiopian governments are investigating the situation, and taking longer to process adoptions for this reason.
Moreover, since Ethiopia doesn't have a centralized referral system like China does, the timing of a referral will depend on the age, gender, and health status of children at the orphanage with which your agency works, at the time your adoption paperwork has been processed, and the number of families in line ahead of you, who wish to adopt an infant/toddler.
Personally, I would not count on either domestic or international adoption as being quick. Healthy infants and toddlers are eagerly sought by American and European families, and relatively few are available at any given time. Wait lists can be very long. Your adoption will be quicker if you are open to a child with special needs or an older child.
Thanks, you make many good points there! Not totally cheered by this info but it's better to be realistic.
[url=]Adoptions Home | Intercountry Adoption[/url] is probably your best source for accurate information regarding international adoptions by country. Not biased by an agency that wants your business or a newspaper or magazine that got their information from who knows where.
Good luck!